Tribes and States Sue to Block Sale and Removal of National Archives in Seattle

Here is the complaint in State of Washington v. Vought (W.D. Wash.):

1 Complaint

15 Motion for Preliminary Injunction

30 Amended Complaint

32 Opposition

37 Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and Proposed Form of Injunctive Relief

40 Reply

News coverage:

Washington AG press release:

Indian Country Today:

Seattle Times:

Spokesman Review:

Yakama Nation press release:

Press Release_YN_OMB_Seattle Archives Lawsuit (1.4.21) (002)

Part 1: Update on Tribal Membership/Disenrollment Issues at Grand Ronde — Complaint Filed

Here is the complaint in Williams v. Leno (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Tribal Ct.):

Williams v Leno Grand Ronde Tribal Court Complaint For Sanctions And Declaratory Relief

And the accompanying press release:

Lawsuit Filed Against Officials of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Challenging Illegal Enrollment Audit and Resulting Disenrollment Proceedings
Grand Ronde, OR – An ethics lawsuit has been filed in Grand Ronde Tribal Court against top officials of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde regarding the proposed disenrollment of as many as 1,000 tribal members.  The lawsuit names the Tribal Council Chairman Reyn Leno and Enrollment Department Head Penny Deloe and alleges that they breached tribal law by disclosing members’ enrollment records and personal information to a third-party consulting firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Continue reading

Part 2: Update on Tribal Membership/Disenrollment Issues at Grand Ronde — Tribe Statement

Here is a statement from the tribe:

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde is conducting an enrollment audit.  The audit fulfills one of the tasks assigned in the Tribal Strategic Plan for 2010, which was adopted in August of 2009.   That plan was formulated after nearly two years of development that began with a Strategic Futures conference in 2007 involving Tribal leaders and members. The plan directed Enrollment to audit all enrollment files and applications, track reasons for denials, and audit blood quantum records with the goal of strengthening the Grand Ronde Family Tree.

Recently some statements have cropped up on social media sites regarding the Tribe’s Enrollment audit.  One of them even featured the Tribe’s emblem and could have led people to believe it was an official statement from the Tribe.  It was not.  In addition, the statements contain extremely misleading and false information.  For example, the statement that up to 20% of the Tribe is being disenrolled is simply not true.  Audit proceedings are ongoing and in fact, over the last several months a number Tribal members and their families. have provided the necessary information to clear up inconsistencies in their files and resolve issues related to their enrollment.

Tribal Council cannot make any specific comments on the Enrollment Audit until audit proceedings have been completed.    The Tribal Council does not see enrollment files until an Enrollment Committee recommendation is presented.
There is an established process under the Enrollment Ordinance for addressing loss of membership that includes working with Enrollment Staff, then hearings before the Enrollment Committee, a hearing before Tribal Council., and ultimately an appeal to Tribal Court and the Tribal Court of Appeals.

Over the years our Tribal membership, through Constitutional amendments, has consistently pushed for tightening our membership requirements.   As elected officials the Tribal Council took an oath of office to uphold the Tribal Constitution and the laws of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.  In that same pledge, the Council swore that they would perform all duties required of them by the Constitution and the laws of the Tribe.  The Council knows this process is not any easy one for the Tribal community   But the Council is committed to getting through it with diligence and compassion.

We also attach an email we received from the tribe regarding our previous post, the contents of which we received from a reliable source, but apparently there was a misunderstanding on our part:

Dear Mr. Fletcher:

On Nov. 19 you posted an article regarding the Grand Ronde Tribe and some disenrollment actions.  The article is one that has been posted by an individual on several social media sites.  It is false and misleading.  I am troubled to see it on Turtle Talk, a site that represents Michigan State University’s Indigenous Law Center and one that holds credibility in the eyes of many readers, both Native and non-Native.  Here is the actual statement from the Grand Ronde Tribe on the current issue.  I hope you will see fit to correct the misrepresentation on Turtle Talk.


Siobhan Taylor
Public Affairs Director
Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

We always strive to give equal time to parties in dispute, and generally do not take sides. We let the material speak for itself.

Press Release: Mass Disenrollment at Grand Ronde

Mass Disenrollment Hits the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde

Grand Ronde, OR – Up to  1,000 members (nearly 20% of the membership) of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon will be receiving letters of potential disenrollment, resulting in what could be the largest termination of American Indian citizenship in United States history.

15 members of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde have already been disenrolled, and 79 cases are pending the outcome of hearings scheduled for December. These are the result of the second wave of disenrollment letters that were sent out in September. Tribal Council refuses to discuss the matter, with Tribal Councilman Toby McClary publicly stating that he did not want to disclose the details and incite panic within the membership.

The Grand Ronde Tribal Council’s mass disenrollment efforts contribute to a national Indian disenrollment epidemic, with disenrollment “expanding throughout Native America, with Native nations in at least seventeen states engaging in this practice,” according to leading tribal political scientist, David Wilkins (Indian Country Today).

Mass tribal disenrollments have broken out in Washington State and California and now Oregon (Seattle Times; New York Times).

The disenrollment proceedings stemmed from an illegal audit of the Tribe’s membership rolls by an outside auditing firm based in New Mexico and include nine sets of parameters, including dual enrollment, lineal descent, blood quantum, adoption and paternity.

One of the families facing disenrollment are the descendants of Chief Tumulth, who was a signatory of the seminal 1855 Kalapuya Treaty (also known as the Treaty of the Willamette Valley and the Dayton Treaty). Tumulth was the first chief of the Watlala Band of Chinook Indians, or “Cascade Indians,” whose ceded lands extended from Cascade Locks west to Ft. Vancouver on both sides of the Columbia River, following the Sandy River into Portland including Franz Lake National Wildlife Refuge in the Columbia Gorge.

“We are appalled that our own tribe, our own relatives, are claiming that we are some how no longer Grand Ronde. We descend directly from a tribal Chief, a man who signed the Treaty that would later establish the Grand Ronde Reservation,” stated family spokesperson, Mia Prickett. Continue reading

Oregon COA Affirms Governor’s Authority to Enter into Indian Gaming Compacts

Here are the materials in Dewberry v. Kitzhaber (Or. App.):

Oregon COA Opinion

Appellants Opening Brief

Respondents Joint Answer Brief

Tribal Amicus Brief

Appellants Reply Brief

An excerpt:

In summary, the Oregon legislature authorized the Governor to enter into agreements with tribes to ensure that the state does not infringe on tribal rights under federal laws, such as IGRA. The trial court correctly concluded that the Governor acted lawfully under ORS 190.110 in negotiating and entering into the tribal-state compact with the Tribes.